The new E Class is quite a formidable car, as we have experienced already driving the impressive hybrid version. Of course, many want to drive a Mercedes with the extra style and elegance which comes with a coupé version, and indeed, coupes were always quite popular at the marque with the good star.
So needless to say we were quite delighted to lay our hands on a beautiful Tenorit grey coloured Coupé, powered by the well known 2143 cc four cylinder Diesel engine, coupled to the excellent 7 speed TRONIC PLUS gearbox.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
As with the 300 E Class we tested, the front grille has been completely redesigned with sportiness in mind, which of course suits the coupe quite well. It is also noteworthy that the coupe kept the slightly bulging arch over the rear wheels, which we liked very much on the previous version, and we are just happy it remains here, as well as on the cabriolet model.
The car looks good from any angle, and things are quite evidently also helped by the longer wheelbase of the E Class, which gives the designers just much more leeway to effectively put a very sleek coupé on the drawing board, and on the road…
"Led Intelligent Light System" is written on the headlamp fittings... and it really does what it says!"
Just one word here about the headlamps. They not only feature intelligent LED lighting which allows you to use the full power of the lamps at night without blinding other road users, but the new headlamps now comprise all functional elements behind a single headlamp lens.
The headlamps are fitted with LED low beam and LED daytime running lamps as standard, while all-LED technology is available for the first time in this class as an option.
Inside the headlamps, flowing LED fibre-optic cables resembling eyebrows reinforce the "four-eyed" look that is typical of the E-Class.
New tail light units, whose LED fibre-optic cables echo the styling cues of the front headlamps, and a broad-looking rear bumper in "wing design" with chrome-look trim is also present. Further accents on our test car were made by the addition of the optional Sports package including a two-pipe exhaust system with trapezoidal tailpipes. Indeed, our test car was equipped with the exterior sports package featuring also 18 inch alloy wheels, which cost an 850 Euros extra at the moment of writing.
Inside the Coupé, stylish materials dominate alongside clearly structured surfaces and the two-part trim element that stretches across the entire dashboard.
Also new is the instrument cluster with dials backed in white and unseen so far is the head unit's trapezoid-shaped full-colour TFT display with its high-gloss frame.
The kinship with the new E-Class family is indicated by an analogue clock between the redesigned air outlets, as well as by controls in silver chrome. As readers know, I cherish this clock, it brings back dear memories, and besides being utterly useful, I also love this analogue oasis in our digital world…
I liked also very much the chosen Alpaca grey leather colour in the interior, as well as the decorative panels in shining piano black.
Well developed ergonomy
Faithful readers already know that we are delighted with the ergonomics Mercedes puts in his cars, and of course we felt immediately “at home” in the test car. The steering wheel is electrically adjustable and with the well contoured seats they give you that ideal driving position; the steering wheel column mounted gear selector, the excellent cruise control, so easy and intuitive to use, it all makes daily life with this car so wonderful.
The BlueEFFICIENCY 220 CDI Coupé is quite frugal: the tank is not even half empty with already 458 kms covered...
We love the easy to read clocks and instruments, with dials backed in white and the head unit's trapezoid-shaped full-colour TFT display with its high-gloss frame. Easy to read and use, with the array of function buttons neatly placed below the screen, alongside the radio volume and station selector knobs.
The centrally placed selector dial in front of the handy storage boxes in the centre console lets you flick easy through the menus.
We also were impressed by the sound quality of the audio 20 CD Radio, which comes as standard equipment. It features a 14.7 cm TFT colour display, twin tuner and MP3-capable CD player as well as a USB connection in the centre armrest.
Passionate about driving
The Mercedes E Class has a state of the art chassis and suspension, providing agility and impressive cornering power, steering accuracy as well as great straight line stability. The car has the new electromechanical Direct-Steer (DYNAMIC STEERING) system which combines speed-sensitive power assistance with a steering ratio that varies with the steering angle.
This helps indeed to achieve excellent straight-line stability and makes for comfortable handling and high levels of steering comfort across all speed ranges.
As standard, the Coupé (and Cabriolet) are fitted with the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system. The shock absorbers adapt to changing road surface conditions, thereby ensuring a high level of ride comfort. This also enables sporty handling while still delivering “Autobahn” comfort.
Smooth and frugal power
The BlueEFFICIENCY 2,2 litre Diesel engine is well known, and also the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox. The engine is somewhat audible when cold, but is very silent one the operating temperature has been reached. For the Belgian market, it comes in the insurance friendly 120 kW/163 HP version, but is fully able to deliver exhilarating performance to the car. The unit has electronically controlled common-rail direct diesel injection with piezo injectors, and 2 turbochargers. Torque of some 400 NM is achieved between 1400-2800 rpm, and this shows in the acceleration and top speed figures. 0 to 100 is achieved in under 9 seconds, and the top speed is around 232 kmh.
The engine is completely inaudible at speed, and indeed, as with virtually all Mercedes, the car truly excels on autobahnen. Vibration free, silent, this car is all about high speed cruising. The excellent straight line stability, the suspension and last but not least the very very good sound insulation sees to that. This is a car where you can enjoy Mahler’s adagietto even in the most silent parts fully, even at speed! Of course, wind noise is absent, and lest not forget that aerodynamic performance: the Coupé excels with a remarkably low Cd value of 0.25!
The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission has not only the column mounted DIRECT SELECT lever but also DIRECT SELECT shift paddles. Inviting to use when one is in a sporting mood, but quite frankly, we left it very much alone during the test, letting the gearbox do its own good work. The latest version of the 7G-TRONIC PLUS also has a new feature, called “Momentary M mode.” The benefit of this is that if the driver has shifted up or down manually, the transmission independently switches back to fuel-efficient automatic shift mode after a set period of time. We liked that very much!
The test car proved not only pleasantly fast and responsive, its consumption is also state of the art. Absolutely no trouble at all for us to reach an average consumption of around 4,7 litres/100 km, letting the gearbox do its intelligent work and keeping the legal speed limits of course. Manufacturer’s data show 4,9 l/100 km and 129 g/km.
Passionate about balance…
Mercedes tells us that the Coupé evokes passion about driving, and indeed it does. Driving which is well balanced, not neglecting very good creature comfort and ease of use.
Add to this the good styling, workmanship, frugality and sheer performance, and one can understand that we were very fond about this car.
Hans Knol ten Bensel